Stop Breaking Her!

I’ve been asked to stop breaking Lady M. The comment came from our metamour, the inimitable Lady J, in response to pictures and video I posted earlier this evening of Lady M after we watched the finale of The Good Place.

Side note: If you haven’t watched The Good Place, I highly recommend it to you as an intelligent and witty story that hides behind a facade of goofiness.

There were tears, and blocked nostrils from a light cold, and snot, and laughter in frustration, and giggles from teasing. All at once. Which of course I had to share with lady s, and then with permission on social media – and now here, because I think you’ll all join me in laughing with her, and commiserating if you’ve seen it too.

Just… How..?

Things Lady M Says: Kinked With Laughter

Lady M was recounting a moment from her work day where all professionalism and reserve went out the day as banter and silliness in some downtime had people quietly chuckling. Although there are apparently new people in the wider team around her, they all seem to have started to get their ear in for when she adopts a new portmanteau word or malaphor inspired by her fibro-fog.

As such, hilarity abounds when they notice – and Lady M was happily telling me all about the various reactions and how they were “kinked with laughter”. Now she meant “creased up with laughter”, so the jump still maintains the same visual imagery, but I of course had to tease her.

“Kinked with laughter?” I said – “have they all discovered a tickling fetish?” And I advanced on her, miming a tickling motion that had her backing away and giggling uncontrollably. I couldn’t not pursue that tease, and our flat echoed with screams and laughter for some time…

Uncle Ranty’s Assistants Speak Up

You may be wondering why we’ve called you here today. Some of the more alert among you may also have noticed that we’re not Uncle Ranty. It’s the hair, isn’t it? No, Uncle Ranty can’t come to the keyboard right now. We kind of wish we could say it was because he’d been locked up for eating his third least-hated editor – but there’s no evidence of that, so we’re stuck with him for now.

Truth be told, as of the last time we saw him, he’s locked himself in the bathroom with a water resistant games console to play Skyrim. His last intelligible words were: “Screw this, I’ve had enough of this garbage. I’m off to live in a fantasy world to rival that of any poxy reader of a right wing UK newspaper.”

He also said something about forcibly extracting editors’ heads from tax-evading owners’ rectums, but we’re not entirely sure what he means by that. He seemed to be deeply annoyed by the wall-to-wall intrusive horror-porn reporting on the Manchester bombing this week.

Now, that last is a bit of a conjecture because by then he was also muttering about eating a TARDIS at the weekend, and threatening to go back and cancel our mothers if we didn’t bring him pizza.

From a quiet sit down with his scribbled notes, screen captures from his phone, and some of the less colourful swearing it looks like he was going to, uh, discuss the tabloid calls for suspension of the presumption of innocence, as well as their use of the phrase ‘final solution’.

Uncle Ranty may return soon, but from the noises coming from the other room he’s preferring to shout at virtual dragons and limit his weapon brandishing to the virtual realms. We’ll keep him distracted so he doesn’t make things worse.

As his assistants, we’d just like to say: be kind to each other and yourselves, and be a force for good just like all the amazing people who have rallied to help in Manchester. Don’t be a dick, it really doesn’t help.

Musings and Muses

I’m blessed with the company and at least grudging acknowledgement of a wide range of beautifully odd people, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Between the fearless men, women, and occasionally undecided of the #Tuesday crowd and the staunchly acerbic miscreants who’ve stuck with me on social media, I couldn’t ask for a fiercer, more awesome group of people to light up my day.

Then there are those who have got drawn into my orbit and who really arent sure what they’re getting into. Don’t worry, we’ll have you so distracted you won’t care enough to fight your truly surreal real selves from emerging in due course.

Okay, do you think that’s scared the normals away? Just us freaks and weirdos left? Excellent.

I’ve had two conversations today that just seem to shine a suitable light, and I thought I’d share them and maybe raise a smile.

The first was with the beautiful Mre B, with whom I’ve had a running conversation via messaging most of the day. As part of that conversation, I mentioned my disquiet that I discovered yesterday that a book shop exists about ten minutes away, the existence of which I had been unaware of for over six years. 

I mentioned that I had been strong, and not bought anything when I found it. Her exact words were: “I’m a little concerned about you resisting the temptation of a bookshop…”

As anyone who has seen my home will attest, this is a fair comment, given I have enough books to make shelving on which I can store more books.

I was in a whimsical mood, and so this was my defence: “I have some self-control. Some. A bit. Occasionally. If I have no money. Okay, I admit it, I didn’t go in because I had no money. I stopped and looked longingly in the window at the precious things until they asked me to leave…”

The conversation got a little surreal from there, involving policemen and shop assistants with cattleprods. It’s been that kind of day.

By contrast, while winding down this evening with Lady M, we hugged and she stumbled in the direction of a nearby window. This led me to quip that I didn’t fancy calling her boss to say that Lady M wouldn’t be in work in the morning because we’d hugged and then she’d jumped out the window, and I was finding it very hard not to take it personally. It ticked Lady M so much, we nearly had another asthma incident.

Somehow these two conversations seem to sum up the randomness, joy, and surprises of my life right now. It’s been a pretty awful year, but in this last week or so I’ve started smiling again – grinning even – and had a renewed burst of creativity when it comes to my writing (as an added bonus). 

I could even be accused of being happy; and I’m sure that has some people looking anxious right now, if not for the exits.

How the hell did that happen?

Short Story: A Conversation

“What’s that noise?”


“There – that noise; can’t you hear it?”

“What are you on about?”

“Look, just stop what you’re doing come over here.”

“Fine. What am I listening for?”

“That noise – the high pitched one.”

“What is that? It’s like, what, a buzz?”

“More like a whine?”

“No, definitely a buzz. That’s a flappy noise.”

“What, like a bug?”

“Maybe? Where’s it coming from?”

“Don’t know, thats why I called you. Wait!”

“What? Why are you shouting anyway?”

“Look, that book wasn’t there a minute ago.”

“The poetry?”

“No, the history book – the local one, blue; there.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah, look and now there’s another on top of it.”

“Eh? Where’d – okay that’s odd. How’d you do that?”

“I didn’t. Look, there’s some more over there. That was History a minute ago, now it’s Travel!”

“Are you feeling okay?”

“You can’t hear that noise, can you?”

“No, but – woah!”

“See! Told you!”

“That’s fast!”

“Oh! Wait! I know what this is!”


“That new library assistant, started yesterday? They said he was quick as a Flash, but I thought it was just a saying.”

“Oh… Reckon he needs a tea break?”

“Well he probably shouldnt have any more coffee…”

And Now For Something Different

(Or: Why did I swear so much in that last post?)

I did briefly consider leaving my last, emotional, blog post as the last ever entry in this site – an enduring monument to frustration that could be referenced as an impassioned reaction to whatever people wanted. However, it would be a waste of a perfectly good domain name and the money spent to maintain it. I’m also still enjoying writing too much, and the act of creating the post seems to have unblocked work on the novel too (!)

I may link back to it on occasion in future, simply because it’s hard to read it without smiling.

Those of you who only know me through this site, or possibly Twitter/Tumble/Google+ may be wondering what prompted me to write the word ‘fuck’ one thousand times beyond an expression of dismay. The simplest answer is because I joked about doing it on Facebook, and a few friends egged me on.

Sounds a bit boring with some context, doesn’t it?

Exam Stresses Ahoy


Not mine, just to make that clear, but rather for two of my nearest and dearest. Lady M has picked up her CIPS professional studies again, which she had to put to one side when everything hit the fan at the beginning of the year. The Charleesi is fast approaching her AS levels, and is racing to beat her deadlines for her photography portfolio this week.

It’s not easy seeing the stresses induced by exam periods, and I’m proud of the dedication, discipline, and focus that they are both showing. Even when I’m not around them, I’m reminded of it by the expressions on the faces of the students who come in to the library every day.

I’m getting used to the sighs, the frantic tapping of keyboards, the slightly glazed expressions and the sometimes zombie-like thirst for cups of tea all around me. Hopefully, when they’ve finished their exams, they’ll look back on this blog entry and laugh with me rather than push me down the stairs.

If they are addicted more than usual to the healing power of tea, my own adventures in caffeine took a somewhat dark step last week. We’d cancelled our usual Monday D&D session due to people’s life and work getting in the way, but a certain Lord Danger lives about five minutes’ drive away and I had a birthday present to deliver.

“I’ll put the kettle on.” He said, and I noticed a certain Sir K in the background. I killed the Hangout session and let Lady M know I was popping out. What’s the worst that could happen, I asked?

On my arrival, I was greeted with a large jug of mocha made from the ground up souls of the damned. Sorry I mean: Fucking Strong Coffee,  which Lord Danger had been sent as a gift by his brother. I can only infer that this was in fact an assassination attempt by his brother rather than a token of filial birthday appreciation.

We collapsed on the sofa, cranked up Starsky & Hutch on Netflix, and poured a mug each. Two cups later, I was hearing colours, Lord Danger had leg spasms, and Sir K was having a panic attack. The next morning, I had what can best be described as a caffeine hangover and my reputation for being able to consume outrageous substances was intact.

So far I have resisted buying any for myself, if only because my GP is trying to get my blood pressure to stabilise and taking stupidly powerful stimulants seems a poor way of repaying their efforts.

Maybe I should invest in some Calm The Fuck Down Tea for everyone?

The Gin Night Cometh

wpid-wp-1440716187665.jpegThe various Ladies M – former, current, and honorary – have been plotting to have a Gin Night since before Christmas. Life being life, things have got in the way until now. Deaths, illness, holidays, and now redecorations have all been endured and put to one side so that they can get together with a variety of different gins, grab some snacks, and put the world to rights.

Everyone I’ve mentioned this to seems to think that I should be terrified by the concept of these formidable women getting together and letting their hair down, but in doing so they miss a fundamental point. This is not about me. This is about their friendship, the support that they offer each other as friends, and their lives. Why on earth should I try and insert myself into the narrative?

For my part, I’ll be picking up the Charleesi, ordering some pizza, and firing up the XBox so we can play games, make sarcastic comments at each other and generally have a chilled out father-daughter night of geekery.

I may, of course, get some new “Things Lady M Says” ideas out of the whole thing – and some of them may even be repeatable in polite society. The rest will become fodder for our usual riotous evenings down The Plough on #Tuesdays.

Things Lady M Says: New Year Edition


We’ve all done it, making innocuous statements that are perfectly fine, but badly timed. I usually manage to come out with appallingly timed wisecracks just as someone reveals a tragic additional piece of information about a situation for example.

Sometimes what we say is perfectly valid in context and timing, and yet is enough to bring tears of laughter. Today’s example came as we were settling down to sleep this evening, and I remarked how it was warmer tonight.

“Well yes,” she said, “it was late and the temperatures plummeted last night. It was the coldest night of the year.”

“What’s today’s date?”

“I… Uh… What..? Oh, well… I suppose that wasn’t difficult!” She began to laugh.

“It was definitely the coldest night of the year, given it was the first night of the year.”

“Bugger off, you know what I meant! Coldest night of the Winter then.”

“Has that started yet, do you think?”

“Are you really lining up a ‘Winter Is Coming’ reference?” I may have nodded in reply.

“I’m so writing this up.”

“Don’t you dare! They’ve all started reading this blog – well, a couple of them anyway.”

“It won’t be any worse than what they hear from you in the office on a daily basis.”

“That’s true.”

So the challenge I guess, is now to see who the first person who works with Lady M will be to break cover on Monday and ask her if Friday was the coldest night of the year so far.

Even if this Sunday is colder, it’ll be worth it, but you may have to buy her a fresh coffee to make it up to her. Drop me a note and let me know if you did…

Things Lady M Says


One of the great joys in life is playing with words, stretching your vocabulary and finding new ways to express yourself. As someone who makes things up for a living, I people watch and keep an ear out for turns of phrase as a matter of course. Whether it’s stressed out mothers in the supermarket, foul-mouthed squaddies waking up after an all night drinking session, or bemused elderly gentlemen ensuring about computer courses, none of them measure up to the sheer glory that can be a discourse by Lady M.

In addition to her native English, she also speaks French, German, Arabic, and some fairly rusty British Sign Language. This can lead to some conversations taking place in a form of polyglot when she’s tired, ill, or inebriated. When she runs out of vocabulary in one language, she switches to another.

My great amusement though are those times when she stays within the English language and grabs similar words to make entirely new meanings to what she intended. With her bemused permission, I’ll be documenting a few here over time, possibly as a regular feature. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll even make a whole set of pages around it.

Today’s phrase: “It’s been a rough month with all the conditional shit in her life.”

Now, this could have been a reference to someone being penned in with clauses and conditions, but she quickly amended it to say that  “consecutive shit” was her original word intention; as in: bemoaning a series of disasters that had befallen the person she was talking about. Perhaps you had to be there.

Those who know her will appreciate the skilful way in which precisely the wrong words are used in every day situations on a regular basis that at the same time sound completely correct. She claims it isn’t a test to see who’s listening when she talks. I have my doubts.